Bon Iver may not be a big fan of the Grammys at the moment, but that hasn't kept him from being on a pre-Awards blitz this month. Justin Vernon's stop-offs included his first appearance on "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend, performing his Grammy-nominated track "Holocene" and "Beth/Rest," both from his sophomore full-length "Bon Iver."
The soft-rock songs may feel sparse on record, but Vernon's eight-piece backing band made an example of how involved the production was. Check out the percussive elements of "Holocene," and take a deep breath. "Beth/Rest," the Jagjaguwar band's best impression homage to Steve Winwood is a rare performance of Vernon not singing in falsetto, which may be why it was chosen as the second track.
What takes two miles of desert, four days of shooting, four months of prep, 1,000 instruments, a car sponsorship and a song? The new OK Go video, of course.
The Chicago rock act's new single "Needing/Getting" features a Chevy outfitted with boom mics and retractable pneumatic arms that play upended pianos, guitars grafted to fences, bottles dangling from archways and such. The quartet sits helps noise-make in the car, with an impressive effort from frontman Damian Kulash, who sings and drives like a maniac (he took stunt driving courses).
The lineup for the 2012 Sasquatch! music festival has been unveiled, but headliners like Jack White, Tenacious D, Bon Iver and Beck bring tidings of other news with them.
White, for one, will be performing at additional festivals plus will be announcing more tour dates in support of his solo debut "Blunderbuss." He'll be taking the stage at the Gorge in George, Wash., on May 26, and will also be heading up the Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Ala., on May 18 and to London's Radio 1 Hackney Weekend 2012 over June 23-24. A press release indicates the former White Stripes leader will be posting additional dates and music news soon.
Nothing says "pain and regret in your sweat" like an ass akin to a wavin' flag.
That's the gist of Drake's "Practice" music video, featuring the sex-time moves of Kyra Chaos, a model frequently featured in Smooth Girl magazine. If you are unfamiliar with Smooth Girl magazine, I highly recommend checking it out on a 17-inch screen, brightly lit, in a well-populated and professional setting such as a coffee shop or in and around your boss' office.
For more than three minutes, Chaos indicates to her audience what they're missing -- more specifically, what Drake's got and you not. She presents her greatest asset in front of a mirror and to the viewer, lo-fi YouTube style, in a pair of jeggings and a chopped and screwed top. Her dance is only interrupted, at the end, by the non-euphemistic entry of Drake.
After months of seriously promoting her film "W.E." and dropping some ballsy pull quotes on the press in recent days, it's nice to see Madonna simply have some fun.
The veteran pop star snagged "Give Me All Your Luvin'" guests M.I.A. and Nick Minaj for this football-themed clip, the two rappers donning cheerleader outfits while Madonna gets the royal treatment from a team of real tough players. The hair-flipping, lace-rocking walk-about was helmed by Megaforce, whose treatment of videos like Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness" and Tame Impala's "Solitude Is Bliss" includes similar elements of the odd adventure, a little bit of cruelty and toying with dimension.
In "Luvin'," Madonna is beaming about 90% of the time. It's easy to see why. In a move that playfully panders to the NFL as it does parody it, Madge is in the middle, calling the shots, in four ferocious outfits. She throws a baby, walks on walls and brings it back to her '80s look with that Marilyn blonde knockoff. I still find M.I.A. and Nicki's contributions to be superfluous at best -- particularly with Roman reloading her "Y U Mad" sleeper line -- but it makes it feel more like a girls night out.
Over the course of the last three days, there have been far too many new music videos to ignore -- from M. Ward, Foo Fighters, Liturgy, Raekwon, Die Antwoord and The Darkness -- so let's explore, shall we?
After today's sad announcement on the passing of Don Cornelius, it's hard not to hear any other news without that shading on it.
But this is a celebratory piece. Because R. Kelly's back, and he's disco, and it's a very specific nod to an era during which Cornelius reigned. Applause all around.
Kells' newest offering is "Share My Love," a track sent to radio today, steeped in 1970s soul and the R&B crooner's plan to help "populate" this big blue earth. It's a lot of familiar instrumentation from his last album, 2010's "Love Letter," with its groovy bassline and warm, flirty guitar, laced with twinkling keys and a humming, sensual orchestra.
For fans of Leonard Cohen’s songwriting, there are plenty of reasons to love “Old Ideas.” But for those eager for a great-sounding Leonard Cohen album, prepare for some disappointment.
At 77, the Canadian songsmith remains one of the most gifted lyricists and folk poets in pop music history. It’s taken eight years for this new studio release, its sites set on eternal bedfellows sex and death, and it appears the bard is feeling his age advance.
“I love to speak with Leonard / He’s a sportsman and a shepherd / He’s a lazy bastard / Living in a suit,” he jokes in the first lines of album opener “Going Home,” an apparent start to that home-bound journey. He published all the lines to the song in the pages of The New Yorker – not Rolling Stone or the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame website – like managing his own expectations.
Jim Jarmusch is getting closer and closer to that inevitable solo project, but in the meantime, he's linked up again with lute player/producer/composer Jozef Van Wissem for a collaborative, experimental album "Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity."
The set, due out on Feb. 28 through Important Records, features the famed director on guitar and is preceded by a new track "The Sun of the Natural World Is Fire." Check it out below (via SSG).
It's all texture and clock-like repetitions, with static and dissonance dominating the lute's structures. From a visual standpoint, I'd say its more interstitial than narrative, but a gorgeous, melodramatic piece nonetheless.
The duo will be promoting the set with two shows at the Issue Project Room (110 Livingston in Brooklyn) on Feb. 3.
Jarmusch has previously worked with Wissem on other projects, and lent other talents to music acts like Bad Rabbit and the Wu-Tang Clan. His last film was 2009's "The Limits of Control."
Will any of his musically inclined actors from previous films -- like RZA, Jack White or Tom Waits -- show up?